Knee replacements and RA: Hi I’ve recently had total... - NRAS


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Knee replacements and RA


Hi I’ve recently had total knee replacements (aged 61) because of Osteo and RA. All going reasonably ok until Covid and I suspended biological meds. Back on them now and blood tests all seem fine, except ESR a little over normal still. However the knees feel very solid and have been a bit puffy. Walking is really painful again and the backs of the knees feel like I want to keep stretching them as they feel so tight. I’ve been on a reducing dose of steroids and the knees only seem to have full mobility and hardly any pain when I’m on 15 mg (and then advice is not to go out). I’ll speak to my RA nurse next week (they’re all brilliant) but I wondered if anyone else had had knee replacements and had RA and how it’s all gone. Any advice very gratefully received! Thanks in advance 😊

13 Replies

Hi Jan, how long ago did you have them done? I had my left knee done because of osteo and RA damage back in 2011 and it’s been fabulous. Took me a long, long while to get over it; I’d say I noticed improvements for a year. The physio exercises are so important in good results. It’s been too long for me to remember how long the pain lasted for. Wishing you all the very best with your ongoing recuperation. X

Hi it was over a year ago for the first knee and 9 months ago for the second. I did loads of physio - I was too scared not to! I’m beginning to think my situation is because I’ve had an RA flare which is why the hospital put me on steroids as well as the biologic injections. It would probably have been ok if not for that. Maybe more patience for the flare to go away totally. Thanks x

Hi jan Iv had a complete knee replacement at the end of February the pain is horrendous I only had 1 physio because of COVID 19 I had to do my own exercises at home I’m getting there slowly Iv had no pain but it’s still a bit swollen and my skin feels very tight when I try to walk other than that it’s good I’m glad I had it done x

Beth72 in reply to Beth72

Total knee replacement age 47 👍

Jan31 in reply to Beth72

Hi Beth I remember that pain. It truly is horrendous! Good luck for your recovery. It’s miraculous what they can do nowadays. I think the key is the importance of the rheumatoid meds. I think my situation has been made worse because of a flare. I learn!

Had my knee replaced about 3 years ago. Brilliant

I don't personally have experience, but...

My grandmother was once of the first people to have a knee replacement in Scotland in the early 1960s. It was a great success and served her well until she died 32 years afterwards. She had no problems with it at all.

I assumed that she had OA, but it has recently come to light that she may have had RA, which would explain a lot of what she used to say about her health.

Both my knees need replacements and I have OA, RA, Fibromyalgia and many other conditions, but I am holding on as long as I can, because I have other problems that need operations as well. I have horrendous pain in my lower back and top of my legs that stops me from walking more than a few steps and I can't stand for more than about a minute at a time. I saw the spinal consultant on Friday and was told I have spinal stenosis and need a spinal op, but I have no idea when that will be. I am also waiting for two smaller ops, so the knees will have to wait.

I have always heard that the knee replacement op is a very painful one but then if a person's knee is very painful anyway then I imagine that they may as well have it done.

I know that some people seem to like to tell others just how bad a thing can be but it is not the same for everyone. I had a shoulder replacement last year and one person told me that her mother had one done and said it was the worst pain ever and that she refused to have the other one done. However, for me, it was so much better than the pain I was in before the op and after about 4 or 5 weeks I had no pain and could lift my arm up above my head.

Oh dear, I have rambled on a bit here, so sorry about that.

I hope things improve for you very soon Jan. xx

Jan31 in reply to holly-willow

Bless you ta! The Op is excruciatingly painful for 2 days and then it gets less painful. It also depends on your pain threshold. I’m a weakling! I do hope all of your issues are able to be sorted. Sounds like knees are down the list a bit. Take care x

Had a friends who had knee replacements and she advised that you must keep doing the exercises given as they do work.

Jan31 in reply to samjam

I did do the exercises for 6 months, and about 3 months before. I’m really thinking that when the flare goes down so will the pain. Fingers crossed!

I had a double total knee replacement in 2012 aged 44. For months afterwards my ESR was high and knees swollen. My Consultant passed it off as a flare up of my RA. To this day it remains high in the 80s and I am in severe pain particularly in my left knee, unable to bend normally. I have to use a rollattor and my knees are in horrendous constant pain. It turned out I have severe heterotrophic ossification as a result of surgery which cannot be treated.

Jan31 in reply to Timmy45

Oh gosh that sounds awful. What’s a rollator by the way? I’m definitely worried everything gets put down to RA flare when it could be something else. Bending my knees back is really difficult. However steroids really help so that does suggest RA flare I think, although what do I know?! I’m looking forward to talking to my nurse but I feel a bit better informed now. Thanks and hope you are able to get relief from the pain. It’s just so debilitating eh. Take care.

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